The Wedge Box of the Pelvis

The lower torso (the pelvic mass) has the general shape of a wedge box, in direct contrast to the upper torso (the rotund barrel of the rib cage). After the rib cage, the pelvic wedge is the second largest mass of the body. Locked to the barrel by the tapering muscles of the waist, the wedge box is narrow at the top, broader at the base.

Ribs Body Sketch

Schematic rendering of the two torso masses: the wedge box of the pelvis and the barrel of the rib cage.

Pelvis Drawing

In the normal, erect attitude of the body, the two torso masses express an inverse, counterpoised relationship:

the barrel is tipped back, the shoulders are drawn rearward, and the chest facade is exposed.

Here, the lower pelvic wedge is tipped forward, the underbelly is recessive, and the rear buttock area arches upward into view.

Female Buttocks Drawn Form

In a rear view of the lower torso wedge, the pelvic region is seen as a compound form with a butterfly shape. The wide gluteusmedius masses, under the arched hipbones, form the upper wings (A, Al), and the thick gluteus maximus masses (the buttocks) form the close-set under wings (B, Bl).

Gluteus Maximus Vilppu

The butterfly wedge easily indentifies the pelvic wedge masses in this rear, almost side, view. The wing forms are overlapped and foreshortened from front to back.

Foreshortened Pelvis

The butterfly configuration is evident in a rear view of the mature female pelvic mass. Note the relatively larger hip structure, both in width and in bulk, compared to the upper chest mass. A narrow rib cage combined with a wide pelvis identifies the female torso and is a distinguishing characteristic of male-female differentiation.

Movements Female CharactersNarrow Rib Cage Female
When the two torso masses are joined, the result is a compound, torso which assumes the simplified form of a massive kidney shape (above).
Simplified Figure DrawingDrawing Woman Foreshortened

The kidney shape of the combined torso masses is characterized by the distinctively narrow waist of the body the flexible central axis between the upper torso (the rib cage barrel) and the lower torso (the pelvic wedge). The waist, because of its axis-like quality, is capable of great versatility of movement.

< In this series of sketches, the butterfly device is shown to be an easily established point of reference and an aid in drawing any rear view of the pelvic forms of the lower torso (left).

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